Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has announced that forward Josh Anderson and defenseman Markus Nutivaara have been loaned to the Cleveland Monsters for the purpose of conditioning.
Columbus Blue Jackets Assign Josh Anderson and Markus Nutivaara to Cleveland
Anderson, who just recently re-signed with the Blue Jackets after an extended contract dispute, is no surprise to be sent to Cleveland for conditioning. There have been multiple instances where players holding out have struggled heavily coming back, with a prime example being the Calgary Flames Johnny Gaudreau.
Anderson, 23, played in his first full season last year with the Jackets. He quickly became a fan favorite with his hard working, gritty, physical style of play. And the fact that he got himself 17 goals and 12 assists as someone who played a majority of their time on the fourth line was impressive.
As for Nutivaara, this is likely to ensure that he is playing hockey. The Jackets announced their roster the other day, and it showed that they were carrying eight defenseman. This is a smart move, as Nutivaara’s development would be better served playing top four minutes, likely top pairing, for the Monsters rather than watching from the stands at Nationwide Arena.
Nutivaara impressed many last season with his rather quick adjustment to the NHL. However, this wasn’t the case throughout the entire season. There were times he struggled to keep up with the pace of play, and being paired alongside partner Ryan Murray.
Nutivaara did not show favorable numbers when you look deeper than his two goals and five assists in his 66 games. Just talking a look at his Relative Corsi-For% you can see he did not perform as well as many believed he did. His -3.9% Rel.CF% is will below standards, and one of the worst on the roster in 2016-17.